Good Guys Today
In The News
Like You Wish!
Radio Tribute Sites
space provided by:
above to hear more vintage broadcast radio airchecks from the
Reel Radio Repository.
tax-deductible contribution to
will help keep this site online
site is in no way affiliated with WPGC Radio
today, or with
CBS Radio, Inc.
above to visit WPGC today.
Dedicated in memory
Nelson at Yesterday & Today Records, Rockville.
Nelson' hosted the WPGC Sunday Night Oldies show in 1981-82.
He passed away on 02/18/19 at 70 after suffering a seizure.
WPGC's, 'Skip Nelson'......
is with great sadness the news has arrived of the loss of WPGC's,
'Skip Nelson', better known in the music community as Skip Groff.
By any name, Skip was the host of WPGC's Sunday Night Oldies
Show, having inherited the hosting duties when original host,
left the station in 1981.
Director at the time, Steve
Kingston hired Skip, specifically for his vast knowledge
of music as well as in recognition that it was Skip who had
hired him for his first professional gig at WINX in Rockville
many years before. That knowledge base also lent itself well
to Skip having been hired as a reporter at one time for Bobby
Poe's Pop Music Survey.
A native of Suitland, MD, Skip's adventure in broadcasting started
at the University of Maryland's then carrier current, WMUC where
he was Music Director and jocked as, 'Sam Doug'. Like many collegiate
colleagues, he soon found himself transitioning to the larger
radio universe at WSID-FM doing Underground Rock in Charm City
(as, 'Doug Franklin') and then onto the Voice of Rockville Pike
on 1600 AM as, 'Frankie Nelson', where he later returned as
Program Director after getting out of the Army in the early
interest in music went far beyond the limits of those who inhabited
the Top 40 at any given moment however. After a stint doing
Promotion at RCA, he managed Variety Records in Wheaton
Plaza and later opened Yesterday & Today Records
in 1977 in (wait for it.....) Rockville. The timing of the opening
of the store may have been prophetic; coinciding with the then
nascent Punk scene, it provided a convenient venue for record
buyers in search of both local DC bands as well as those from
the UK and beyond. In those years, he also founded Limp Records
and produced local artists of that genre.
Music was not the only thing available for discovery in the
store though. Skip met his wife of 31 years, Kelly when she
was a customer of his. As vinyl seemed to be destined for relic
of the past status, the two of them closed down retail operations
after 25 years in 2002 and devoted their full energies to online
& Today lives on to this very day.
Following the change in format to AC at WPGC in the Fall of
1982, Skip left the station but would later resurface at WAVA,
hosting, 'Rock of the Nineties'. With the launch of
the WPGC Tribute Site in 2000, Skip was kind enough to contribute
an article he had written as a high school student for his school's
newspaper, the Suitland Echo. The story detailed his
visit to WPGC in which he interviewed several of the personalities
at the time including Harv
Moore. The interview was conducted in December, 1965 and
published on 01/12/66. Read it here.
into more recent years, Skip was an active participant in this
site, often adding comments about the station and personalities
as well as adding insights about the music and artists the station
played during his youth. Read his remembrances of WPGC below.
marked his passing with this retrospective piece.
It was not the first time they had spotlighted Skip. On 07/21/17
they featured his
influence on local music.
In 2018, Skip began suffering from health issues, leading to
his hospitalization. Though he had been back home for a while,
on 02/18/19, he suffered a seizure and sadly, passed away at
age 70 at Medstar Montgomery Medical Center. No doubt, he is
now perusing the record bins of a far grander collection in
a teenager with acne growing up in PG County, I'm pretty sure
it was required to listen to WPGC, though only AM at that time
(only the Martians had FM in '64.) I never listened to the radio
or rock music until the Beatles
broke in early '64. WPGC helped open up my ears to a whole world
I had been missing while collecting trading cards, comic books,
and Famous Monsters Magazines.
the 'British Walkers':
in 1965, WPGC brought the British Walkers to Marlboro
Raceway in PG County. It was at the time of their first
45 on Try Records, 'I Found You' backed with 'Diddly
Daddy'. Both sides featuring Roy Buchanan on guitar
as a member of the group. Dean
Griffith was the master of ceremonies and I seem to recall
several other jocks there. It was a gas!!
Interviewing the Staff at WPGC as a teen:
working for the Suitland Echo High School newspaper as
sports editor, I convinced Bob
Howard to let me do a story on the station, figuring they
would give me some free 45s when I visited, which they did.
I interviewed Harv Moore,
Bob Raleigh, Jim
Madison and a couple others. Read
Harv Moore producing his record:
A couple months later, we had a group of students at Suitland
cutting a demo as Adam's Apples, they later changed their
name to Nobody's Children and Harv
Moore produced their first 45 on UA, 'Junco Partner',
and published the flip, 'Let Her Go' (written as I recall
by Lee Travers from the band). Harv
had already had a 45 out on his own on American Arts, a Beatle
break-in novelty with him singing on the flip, called
I Feel So Fine.
the Radio Rollercaster:
for me, two years later in 1966, I was Music Director at the
University of Maryland's WMUC
(for three years), went on to part-time at WSID-FM and WINX,
and later became PD & MD & on-air at WINX
after getting out of the Army. I became Steve
Kingston's first on-air boss.
digress a moment, Pierre Eaton was on a kick where he
felt for name recognition the jocks should have similar names
to Rock stars. When I first started there as a part-timer in
1968, then PD Bob Edson changed my WMUC
name Sam Doug to Frankie Nelson.
The previous year, I worked as Doug Franklin at WSID-FM in Baltimore,
with Dave King as PD / MD. He had just left WINX
and wanted me to help get a progressive format on the air. Bob
Duckman, who had worked with me at WMUC
had worked at WINX
with King and recommended me due to my musical knowledge. (I
was music director all three years at WMUC,
as well as Record Librarian, then Asst. PD (to John
Dowling), then PD (supervising the hiring of Connie Chung
for the news department).
back to WSID, I started there Fall of '67. I did the 6pm-mid
shift on Saturday, hung around the studio all day Sunday (I
didn't have a drivers licence yet), did 6pm-midnight Sunday,
then took a bus back to College Park, getting back to my dorm
or building FF (WMUC)
at 3 or 4 in the AM. I know I was working there the weekend
Otis Redding died, and I think also when Bobby Kennedy
died the following Spring, about 8 months or so.
didn't keep that format long and went Top 40 as WLPL and I went
as a weekender working with Joel
Denver. We pretty much did Sundays between us (after all
the Public Affairs crapola). By the time I got out of the Army
in early '72, Edson was gone, Pierre had been PD, Bill Vickers
was the MD / Engineer, and for some reason Pierre wanted to
hire me as a three in one, Morning Drive, PD, and MD. All for
$100 a week starting salary!!
Steve Kingston & WINX:
I did that for awhile, but got tired real quick and hired someone
else for mornings. I did mid-days, eventually ending up at 7-midnight
again. That's where Kingston
comes in. He was a high school pal of Harvey Fisher (Bruce
Diamond, now Jack
Diamond of MIX 107, maybe someday Neil Diamond, who
knows??) His buddy Harvey had convinced Pierre to hire Steve
as the station janitor, and although he rarely spoke and was
very moody, he and I got along fine. He and
Robbie Norton both loved sitting down at the end of the
counter where interviewees sat and stare my ass off while I'd
be talking on the phone to girls. They didn't like girls, at
least at that time.
this point, doing nights, I had created a concept called Heavy
Metal Thunder, which was all hard rock after 7pm. Deep
Purple, Black Sabbath, Amboy Dukes, Runaways, it all fit
has never had better ratings then during that all too brief
time. Occasionally, I would have something else to do and I
originally put Steve
on just playing the records, graduating to speaking and eventually
to replacing me when I quit in '73 or '74 to go manage Variety
Records in Wheaton Plaza. I'm pretty sure Big
Don O'Bryan subbed once and played Eagles and such,
and was not invited back.
had built up a good crew before I left as PD, we had Terry
Steele, Darius Pope, Sam Diego, and at one point, I passed
on hiring Greaseman (he ended up at DC-101).
One last WINX
story. We had this wonderful listener who was mentally challenged
but passionate about the station, Sue Ann Richardson.
She listened to me when I was Frankie Nelson, and after
the Army, I was Skip Nelson. She couldn't quite grasp
why we sounded alike, so the guys told her Frankie was my brother,
and he had gone in the army. For a couple of years, she would
call, and always ask first, "How's your brother Frankie?"
We had to keep the story alive; would have been cruel to do
otherwise. As a result whenever I e-mail or talk to Kingston,
he either calls me Sue Ann or Pierre.
doing WPGC's Sunday Night Oldies Show:
later when Scott Shannon
left WPGC for Q105 in Tampa and Steve
took over in 1981, he brought me in on Sunday nights to
play oldies at $50 an hour.
in the mid '80s, Flash Phillips
got Mark St. John to hire me at WAVA
doing Rock Of The '90s at $25 an hour. Now, I've closed
my record store down after 25 years in Rockville, and Yesterday
& Today Records is an internet / mail order function
only. Though I'm hoping to get a gig at Metro Traffic
at maybe $5 an hour. Good Times!!
thanks to Skip Nelson for
- Sunday Night Oldies Show - 2:25
This non-profit historical site
is not affiliated in any way with WPGC Radio today or CBS Radio,
Inc. Use of copyrighted material is consistent with the "fair
use" provisions contained in §107 of the Copyright Act
of 1976 due to the following characteristics: Use of copyrighted
material is of a nonprofit, educational nature, intended for the
sole purposes of research and comment and does not significantly
negatively affect "the potential market for or value of the
copyrighted work(s)." Use of registered trademark material
is not subject to civil action or injunction as outlined in §1114
and §1125 of the Trademark Act of 1946 (the Lanham Act) due
to the following characteristics of this work, and the registered
marks published herein: Use of reproductions of registered marks
is not for the purpose of commerce, nor is the use connected with
the sale, offering for sale, or advertising of any goods or services.
Use of reproductions is not likely to cause confusion, mistake,
or deception as to the affiliation, connection, or association of
this work with owners of published registered marks, nor as to the
origin, sponsorship, or approval of this work by owners of published
registered marks. Wherever possible, the copyright or registered
mark owner's name has been noted near the copyrighted work or registered
mark; however, all material used in this site, including, but not
limited to, newspaper articles, syndicated themes, promos, commercials,
photographs, playlists, press releases, ratings, airchecks, newscasts,
traffic reports, sports reports, 'sound-offs', sweepers, bumperstickers
and station logos, should be considered protected copyrighted material
or registered mark with all rights reserved to the owner, named
or unnamed. So there!